23 August 2009

More Than Words

Blogger is turning ten this weekend. I was trying to figure out how I could commemorate the moment since it's kind of an important milestone for them -- and me. I thought there would be some awesome way to create a list of things that have happened in my life during all this blogging but I realized what's the point? It's already done and out there among my blogs. I did dig through my archives a bit and realized that I started blogging on Wednesday, October 4, 2000. As a frame of reference, the Playstation 2 was released later that month. If that helps. Probably not.

Since October 2000 I've started countless blogs, switched my main site a few times, and evangelized to and bullied people into blogging every chance I could. The answer to almost any problem was "start a blog." Upset about your significant other? Start an anonymous blog. Need to keep people updated about your life (pre-Facebook)? Start a blog. Incredibly bored at work with nothing to do? Start a blog. Have no friends? Start a blog. The possibilities were/are endless. I've witnessed "blog" start out as this weird little word, turn into a sort of geeky hobby, and then transform into something that's become an essential and enjoyable part of many people's daily lives.

Heck, I've even been fortunate enough to have blogging turn directly into a writing career. My first book was a book about blogging for Rough Guides and that all came about because I had a blog that people liked to read. It got me an agent, it got me friends, it got me published. It kind of got me a life you know? This will sound weird and cheesy and maybe only long time bloggers will understand, but blogging has been a really good (and constant) friend for the past decade. It's been somewhere to share my thoughts, to vent about life, to build a community of people, and to focus my writing.

There's lots of little things you pick up while maintaining a blog. You learn to reflect on events and to present them in a semi-coherent way. You learn to organize your writing. You get to experience the give and take of having readers and people who'll respond to something you wrote. You get the freedom to write about any damn thing you want, and then to find like minded people -- who are always out there, no matter how obscure the topic. And the best part is that you get to go back in time and read a younger you, and even if he sounds stupid or insanely cringe-inducing, it's a record of your days and thoughts and that kind of time warp is priceless. Our memories aren't perfect and it's only getting worse, but blogger's memory is long lasting and forever, like best friends forever.

Nine years ago, here's what I was doing:

"I'm at my 17th day of work right now. I'm an intern at aMedia. They publish aMagazine. aOnline is the 'Asian American Digital Network.' To be more specific, I'm a Marketing Intern. Which means I do lots of web surfing and research. I also do lots of interny-stuff for our event coordinator. I look up contact information for people, research limo prices, that kind of thing. It's all very glamorous as I'm sure you would of guessed."
-yellow brick road-
This was my very first job out of college and I had lots of menial responsibilities as well as plenty of time to blog. My friend James turned me onto Blogger and I was instantly hooked. For some reason, I was heavily influenced by Socratic dialogue and created two characters to talk about things. Tragically, I didn't know enough HTML to have the conversations come out correctly so now the archives are all weird unless you read from the bottom up.

My friend Ameer, also a long time blogger, had a printed out and nicely bound copy of his entire blog -- complete with comments -- presented to him by his sister a few years back. Flipping through it, all I could think of was "Dang, how cool would it be to have my blog all printed out?" So that's what I'm going to do to celebrate my blog turning ten next year. I want a thick huge tome of my blogs on a coffee table. Maybe even my coffee table, if I'm lucky enough to own one by then. Dare to dream.

I know there are tons of other blogging services that sprang up post-Blogger but I've never switched off despite all sorts of infuriating issues. I'm been pretty much unable to commit to much over the last decade but if nothing else, I've been a Blogger brand loyalist and I don't think I'll ever switch.

I know, this post is like the closest thing I've written to a love letter in quite some time. Excuse the outburst of emotion.